Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Keep the NHL beautiful

There’s a good reason to support a new ban on head shots in professional hockey and it goes above and beyond all of the moralizing and the scientific evidence behind the incurred damages that occurs to the brain and to the body. There’s been a lot of talk lately about how head shots are damaging the game and its reputation and how it’s also ending the careers of players, some who would’ve had the potential to have a brilliant and long NHL career. There’s also been talk about the gruesome nature of the after-effects of these hits on individuals, with the general recognition that it not only ends careers, it can end lives as well, affecting both the duration and quality of the life of the person affected. Not to mention the potential devastating effects of such a hit on the people closest to them, such as loved ones and friends.

While this is all good stuff, there’s something else that people don’t talk about and that’s equally important: the overall attractiveness of the NHL. NHL players, particularly those in the Eastern Conference, tend to be very athletic, young and generally good-looking men. Lots of chiselled faces, hard jaw lines, piercing eyes and of course, fantastic bodies. Do they (the NHL lawmakers) not realize the possible detrimental effects of head shots on these gorgeous, gorgeous heads? Let’s put aside the fact that they can scramble brains like eggs in an omelette. Let’s think about this on a purely aesthetic level. Think about it. Think about the harmful effects of seeing those perfect heads smushed up like grapes or bent up like turnips. Who wants to want such an unattractive squad?

The NHL, like most sports leagues, is always trying to increase its fan base, and one of those demographics tend to be the often-forgotten women. As such, there are more and more pink versions of NHL jerseys in every store and more efforts have been made to make sensitive ads that may appeal to women fans. But aren’t we forgetting a very important reason why women tune in to games? Not just the thrill of the sport or the finesse of the game, but let’s face it: good-looking men. Do they really think that we women are going to want to watch such aggressive moves? It’s not UFC, after all. And do they really think that we want men with brain damage and no teeth? That’s not exactly our idea of dreamboats.

So I think that we need to push the NHL to make strict rules banning head shots once and for all in the interest of keeping the NHL beautiful. We should rally around this idea and rally around this slogan. We like our men athletic and we like them in one piece.

I hope that this happens. I hope that legions of fans, men and women alike and even the gay men who watch the game hoping to sneak a peak of their favourite beefcakes, campaign Gary Bettman and the rest of the crew with this one idea: Keep the NHL Beautiful.

Oh, and keep the players safe too.

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